France will begin the defence of their UEFA European Championship title with a Group 1 qualifying match in Cyprus.
In a press conference held on Tuesday in Limassol, the fixture list for the EURO 2004™ qualifying campaign was announced following a meeting with the five national associations involved. In addition to France and Cyprus, the group also includes France's fellow 2002 FIFA World Cup finalists Slovenia, Israel and Malta.
Group favourites France first meet Slovenia at the Stade de France on 12 October 2002, with the return fixture being played on 10 September 2003. Another important test for the reigning world and European champions will be the away match in Israel on 2 April 2003.
2002 - 7 September: Slovenia v Malta, Cyprus v France; 12 October: France v Slovenia; Malta v Israel; 16 October: Israel v Cyprus, Malta v France; 20 November: Cyprus v Malta.
2003 - 29 March: Cyprus v Israel; France v Malta; 2 April: Slovenia v Cyprus; Israel v France; 30 April: Malta v Slovenia; 7 June: Israel v Slovenia, Malta v Cyprus; 6 September: France v Cyprus, Slovenia v Israel; 10 September: Israel v Malta, Slovenia v France; 11 October: Cyprus v Slovenia; France v Israel.
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